BREAKING – Cyclone Yasi – Category 5

FEB 2nd – Queenslanders have been told to prepare themselves for a terrifying 24 hours as the “most catastrophic storm ever” takes aim at heavily populated areas of the state’s north. Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi was upgraded to category five this morning as the weather bureau warned it was likely to be “more life-threatening” than any storm seen in Australia in living memory.

Tens of thousands of people are fleeing their homes ahead of the monster storm, which is expected to hit the coast between Cairns and Innisfail with winds of up to 300 kilometres per hour near the core.

“Im sitting on my deck in Redlynch (on the hill overlooking the coast) winds are slowly picking up there is a light cloud cover, but sun still getting through patchy clouds. The weird thing about the wind though is that it’s coming from the west (down the mountains toward the coast). Not as bizzarre as the rainforest being deadly quiet, think the birds have figured it out. Darn, outsmarted again by mother nature. Im surrounded on 3 sides by rainforest, at these wind speeds, I anticipate the Daintree turning into a paintree. Good luck Cairns, it heart breaking to see this monster wanting to take a piece of it away. Stay inside is all I can say….Im actually nervous for the first time since this storm was detected.”

“My Dad’s an old farmer and taught me a little about how to read the weather. He always said if the wind was going towards the storm it was going to be very, very bad.”

Strooth, these clouds are not mucking around, since the last post, sun is gone, and its a very grey sky….I looked out towards the coast and there are very dark blue clouds, very high in the sky (you can see them moving), not your fluffy fear packing low lying black/white/grey clouds, but very high clouds (blue-ish) blotting out the sun. Feels like about 6:30 in the evening here….sudden drop in temperature. We’ve been told 2 hours left of driving conditions before Yasi claims the communities. Im looking at my house at the moment, I don’t think there will be much left up here on the mountain. Ill start taking some ‘before/after shots’. Housemates aren’t laughin or smiling about it anymore, they kind of went serious all of a sudden.”

Cyclone Yasi

Detailed NASA satellite pic here (strangely beautiful) from earlier today, showing Solomon, PNG island outlines

twitter #TCYasi

streaming video from Townsville T1 tower apartment

“Called a friend last night in Central Cairns and she says all the birds have disappeared and that all the crabs on one of the northern beaches have crossed the road and are making burrows inland. Our thoughts are with you all.”

“As a kid, I saw devastating images of Cyclone Tracy in a documentary and thought that that was the ultimate destruction. But comparing that now to Cyclone Yasi, I almost feel devastated myself because I know that category 5 means that this will be the most extreme.

I live and work in Port Moresby, and we’re also expecting some strong winds from the tail of Cyclone Yasi. There’s heavy cloud cover with some wind and rain. My home town of Alotau will also be experiencing very strong winds and stormy seas.

We’ve got family friends in Cairns so our thoughts and prayers are with them as well the rest of the residents there. We hope everyone evacuates out on time. Please stay strong and take heed of all emergency intructions.

Keepin you all in prayer.”

“Just heard on the radio, all evacuation centres in Cairns are full and closed. Oh well, anyone left out, like us guys on the hill, will have to sit on the hill and just go through it. I hope everyone in the lowlands had an opportunity to get into the evac centre. Bit concerning that evacuation centres are closed, what the? what if people down there have no where to go? Not enough centres prepared for these people I think….all best down there guys, just stay inside and watch out for the rising water. The water is more deadly then the wind.”

“Hey guys we live in the philippines and these storms are no joke. A storm this huge means that high winds for over 12 hours with driving rain and storm surge of 10-15 feet.”
– Clark

“The storm surge to the north of the cyclone (which Cairns will be) will be minor compared to the surge to the south of the cyclone. Cyclones turn clockwise, so the winds will be blowing from the west in the north will be pushing the sea back — and vice versa in the south.”
– Eric

“I was born & bred up there, right on the beach, a few miles from centre of Cairns. I’ve seen many cyclones. At the beach where I grew up, I remember houses being swept into the sea, back in the early late 40s/early 50s. My own home, in which my sister & her family live, is very close to the beach front. Fortunately, built to withstand F5 monsters. BUT… for those ‘smarties’ who know so much about cyclones (like, it will veer away), this one is absolutely like no others before it. I too learnt something about weather, scientifically, and it is very obvious, even for someone such as I, with a smattering of knowledge, that this is a very different weather phenomenon than any other cyclone that I am aware has hit the north Queensland coast in the past 60 years.

As I had to insist to certain members of my family overnight, just make sure the yard is free of anything likely to become missiles, tape the windows, and get out pronto!

We don’t need people such as those who say, seen it before, it’s heading somewhere else, sit tight. BTW: winds do pretty destructive things, as well as surges do.”

“Oh Boy…cat 5, my prayers go out to those folks who couldn’t get out. For those who decided to stay….I pray for you too.

Some folks have only put tape on their windows, a bit of plastic and some sandbags across the bottom, that not going to be of much use once the wind really starts to blow.
Sliding doors/windows, without plywood or shutters and crossbars, they’ll blow in or be shattered by flying debris, once the wind pressure gets inside…its all over.
I grew up in Bermuda, I’ve been through more hurricanes than I can remember, and a cat3 in 2003, Fabian, that scared the crap out of me, even living in a stone house, tucked down in a valley, every window boarded up…the noise the crashing of trees, the relentless onslaught of the wind. The house was fine, though, built to withstand hurricanes and well boarded up, but no power for two weeks afterwards. If I ever come across a cat 4 or 5…I’d be getting out!

The flying debris is a big problem, as will be the storm surge…been there seen that…If people have never been through a cyclone/hurricane, they have NO idea what they are in for,prayers are being sent.”
– Onion

“Willis Island update:

Still no radar, I think we can write that one off. but there is now more weather data up to 0900 (EST) either the eye is directly over Willis island (0 wind) ; or the wind speed and direction instruments have been blown away. More likely; even the eye of a cyclone has some light breeze.

Either way, the pressure is still plummeting.

And if you think putting masking tape on your windows is going to help, don’t trust it. Nail or screw in place the thickest sheets of plywood you can get hold of.

good luck”

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